IAE launches ‘V2500 Select’ in bid to cut costs

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International Aero Engines (IAE) is launching a combined programme of engine upgrades and service offerings dubbed “V2500 Select”, which it says will dramatically cut operating costs, boost the customer base and provide the foundations for the next-generation narrowbody engine.

“We believe it’s a game-changer for IAE,” says the consortium’s president Mark King. “It’s fundamentally different to any approach anyone has taken to the aftermarket in the narrowbody sector, and it is a direct response to the way the market has been changing,” he adds.

The combined approach of the “Select” concept is aimed at flowing technology upgrades through to the fleet while, at the same time, introducing operator-specific tailored maintenance programmes.

The initiative is aimed at “taking 20% or significantly more of the operating costs out of the V2500 over time, and improving reliability and asset value”, says King, who stresses key targets are low-cost carriers and leasing companies as well as existing operators.

Discrete engine upgrade kits planned for the V2500 range from the imminent introduction of an improved high-pressure turbine (HPT) blade to a stepped set of HP and low-pressure component block improvements between now and 2011.

An aerodynamically improved and longer-lasting HP compressor and next-generation HPT design are planned for the 2008 timeframe, which will reduce fuel consumption by around 1% and enable the engine to “stay on wing 20% longer”, says King. “We’ve established the V2500 as the higher-technology product than our formidable competitor [CFM International], which continues to improve its engine, and we’re determined we’ll keep clear daylight between us and them.”

The changes are retrofittable to all 2,600 engines in service, as well as the initial batches of the next 1,000 now on order, King adds.

GUY NORRIS/LOS ANGELES